Getting the best car insurance isn’t just about which company offers the cheapest quotes or biggest discounts. Drivers have to compare coverage, rates, customer service, claims processing, financial stability, and billing and payment flexibility. While there are many reputable insurers to choose from, the best auto insurance companies offer good coverage, affordable premiums, and financial protection.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top-rated car insurance providers in the United States. Furthermore, you’ll find a chart of company ratings to help you compare them side-by-side. Ultimately, these auto insurance rankings will help you find a good company and low rates. Just remember that cheap insurance isn’t always the highest-quality, and the top insurers know how to provide their customers with both quality and value.
- 1 Best Auto Insurance Companies For 2018
- 2 Auto Insurance Company Ratings
- 3 Largest Auto Insurance Companies
- 4 How To Find The Best Car Insurance Company
- 5 Different Types of Car Insurance Coverage
- 6 Factors That Affect Insurance Rates
- 7 Car Insurance Discounts
- 8 Customer Service
- 9 Get The Best Auto Insurance
Best Auto Insurance Companies For 2018
Here are the best auto insurance companies of 2018. Some insurers specialize in specific types of coverage and are known for catering to certain types of demographics. The key is to compare insurance quotes online, find a good company, and get the best car insurance for your needs.
Check out these highest-rated insurance providers by category.
Top-Rated Insurance Company
GEICO offers quality coverage at some of the cheapest rates in the industry. True to their advertising, GEICO helps qualify their customers for a number of discounts, including ones for emergency deployment for active military members, good students, customer loyalty, and safe driving records. The company even has special savings for federal employees and military members. Overall, GEICO gets rave reviews.
Best Company with Agents
Allstate has one of the largest network of agents in the United States. With Accident Forgiveness, Safe Driving Bonuses, and a Claim Satisfaction Guarantee, Allstate is an insurance company very focused on providing excellent customer service and affordable premiums. If you prefer interacting with an agent or broker who can personally walk you through your policy coverage, choose Allstate for a personal touch.
Best Insurance Company For Military Members
USAA is the absolute best car insurance company for military members and families. Customer and industry reviews, including J.D. Power, consistently rank United States Automobile Association (USAA) among the top insurers in any category. USAA is well-known for their cheap rates, comprehensive coverage, excellent claims service, and deep discounts.
For example, military members who keep their cars on bases can save an additional 15% on premiums. Unfortunately, membership is limited to active or retired members of the military and their family members, but if you qualify, USAA is the top insurance company for you.
Best Auto Insurance Company For Seniors
AARP and the Hartford have teamed up to cater to older drivers aged 50+ with special policies and coverage benefits, such as RecoverCare and affordable long-term rates. Cognizant of most seniors’ limited retirement income as a result of fixed pensions and Social Security, AARP works with the Hartford to lock in cheap annual car insurance rates, making it easier for older drivers to budget.
Furthermore, RecoverCare is a policy benefit that helps seniors transition back into everyday life after a car accident. The program covers the costs, up to $2,500, of in-home assistance such as housekeeping, maintenance, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. AARP/Hartford should be the top pick for car insurance for seniors.
Auto Insurance Company Ratings
Below, you will find a list of the best car insurance companies by ratings. These ratings are based on reviews for policy offerings, pricing, customer service, and financial rating. Reviews and ratings are scored on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. The A.M. Best financial rating is expressed as a letter grade from A++ (the highest) to D.
Here are the best insurance companies by ratings, including GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, Allstate, Farmers, Safeco, Metlife, Esurance, 21st Century, Mercury, and Amica Mutual!
Largest Auto Insurance Companies
Here is a list of the largest car insurance companies by percentage of auto policies covered in the United States.
- State Farm – 18.4%
- Allstate – 10.1%
- GEICO – 9.6%
- Progressive – 8.3%
- Farmers – 5.9%
How To Find The Best Car Insurance Company
Finding cheap car insurance companies becomes easier when you know what to look for. For instance, buying full coverage with a $500 deductible on a 10 year old car worth $5,000 makes absolutely no sense because your premiums would be too high in comparison to the value of the vehicle.
However, change your policy to liability coverage with a $1,000 deductible, and you may pay a few hundred dollars per year while saving up for your next auto purchase.
Different Types of Car Insurance Coverage
By researching the different types of car insurance coverage available, determining the right amount of limits, and applying for qualified discounts, you can buy the best car insurance for you and your family’s needs. Here are some tips on how to accomplish that.
Liability Auto Insurance
Liability car insurance provides coverage for at-fault accidents. When you, the policyholder, are at-fault in a car accident, and the other vehicles, drivers or passengers involved will be filing claims against you and your insurance company, your carrier is required to protect you. Liability auto insurance will cover claims, minus your deductible, against bodily and property damage, including repairs, damages, medical bills, litigation and legal costs, and property replacement.
Every driver must carry at least the mandatory minimum liability insurance for his/her state, but some families need more than the minimum to protect their personal property and assets from claims and lawsuits by 3rd-parties injured in auto accidents.
What Is A Deductible?
Your deductible is the amount of money you are required to pay out-of-pocket before filing a claim to have your car insurance company pay the balance, up to a maximum liability limit. Policyholders can choose their deductibles and coverage limits, each of which have a direct effect on your rates. High deductibles are cheaper than lower deductibles, but obviously require a larger payment out-of-pocket before filing a claim.
Collision and Comprehensive Car Insurance
Collision and comprehensive car insurance pay for damages to your own vehicle and usually have deductibles of $500, $1,000 or $1,500.
More specifically, collision insurance provides coverage to protect your own vehicle after an accident, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Collision car insurance is usually required for new cars with auto loans, since the lender or bank wants to guarantee their investment is protected, especially in case the other driver does not have adequate protection to pay for your damages and repairs. Meanwhile, comprehensive car insurance covers damage from fire, theft, flood, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, other natural disasters, or “acts of God”.
It is possible to get cheaper quotes by raising your deductible to $1,000 or even $1,500, but this may not be the ideal policy for drivers that would find it difficult to pay the $1,000 deductible if their car was damaged. The best deductible for one driver may not be good for another, and consumers should compare auto insurance quotes side-by-side to determine what balance between premiums and coverage is optimal for their needs.
Personal Injury Protection Insurance – PIP
Twelve states allow personal injury protection (PIP) insurance and is a mandatory policy add-on in Florida. PIP insurance is also called “no-fault insurance” because each driver is covered by their own carrier regardless of whose fault the accident is. Personal injury protection pays medical bills for the insured driver and family members injured in an accident.
In some states, optional PIP also covers lost wages and essential services in case of temporary or permanent disability. The cost of PIP coverage varies and each driver should decide how much personal injury protection is needed, if any is even required at all.
Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Coverage
While most drivers obey the law and buy auto insurance, some drivers do not. The minimum liability limits that many drivers carry may not be enough to cover serious injuries or damages. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you and your family in the event that they are injured by a driver that is uninsured or under-insured. UIM coverage is not a requirement by state laws, and purchase of this policy add-on is not recommended in most cases.
Many insurers offer free roadside assistance as a courtesy to their customers. Roadside assistance covers towing and labor costs for breakdowns or flat tires. Instead of buying roadside assistance from AAA, getting this service for free can make a policy attractive.
Factors That Affect Insurance Rates
When completing a comparison via online quotes, consumers should be aware of the different factors that may affect their auto insurance rates. Car insurance companies use statistical analysis to determine which factors and types of drivers are more accident prone and likely to require claims and payouts. The following factors affect your car insurance rates:
Statistically, males are higher risk than females. Males, on average, drive further distances and more often, aggressively and recklessly, resulting in more accident claims and citations. Young or teen male drivers are especially high risk, and contribute significantly to higher rates for males. Fortunately, age also plays a role in determining car insurance quotes, and when drivers turn 25, rates become cheaper.
Car insurance companies relate age to maturity and experience. An experienced driver with a good driving record or history demonstrates responsibility and stability, and thus deserves cheap premiums. Younger, inexperienced drivers present more of a risk to insurance companies, requiring carriers to offer higher prices for young or teen drivers. Generally, drivers between the ages of 30 and 50 get the best rates.
Driving History or Record
What better way to determine whether you are a good driver than to look at your driving history for citations, tickets, and accidents. The cheapest car insurance quotes are reserved for drivers who have exhibited safe driving skills for a long period of time, maintaining a good, clean driving record. A ticket or violation here or there is acceptable, and most car insurance companies even offer Accident Forgiveness.
Car Make and Model
Almost all Americans know that the type of car you choose to buy will inevitably affect the cost of your auto insurance. There are two relevant reasons for this correlation. Car insurance companies use statistical tables and research to determine the type of driver you are based on the kind of car you’ve purchased.
Research concludes that sports cars are strongly correlated with faster and riskier drivers, while minivans or SUVs are bought by parents who care about the safety of their family. The other reason is more straightforward: expensive, luxury cars cost more to repair, thus resulting in expensive payouts and claims by the company.
Other factors to consider include your address or location, marital status, annual mileage driven, and credit score.
Car Insurance Discounts
Part of finding good car insurance is comparing discounts offered by different providers. Most insurance companies offer “Good Driver”, “Good Student”, “Customer Loyalty”, “Low-Mileage”, and “Good Credit Score” discounts, as well as savings for drivers that complete a defensive driving course. Young or teenage drivers that complete a driver’s education course may also qualify for auto discounts.
If your vehicle has an alarm system or anti-theft device, anti-lock brakes, air bags or other safety features, you may qualify for lower rates. Furthermore, auto insurance companies that also sell multiple types of insurance provide bundling discounts to customers who buy more than one type of policy, say car, life, and/or home insurance.
While carriers are constantly developing new ways to remain competitive and help policyholders save money, here is a list of the most common car insurance discounts you may qualify for.
Discounts To Ask For
If you’re looking to lower your car insurance rates, here are the best discounts to ask for:
- Good or Safe Driver
- Good Student
- Customer Loyalty
- Driver’s Education
- Anti-Theft Devices, Alarm Systems
- Automatic Payment
- Full Payment – Annual or 6-Month versus Monthly
- Member Affiliations/Associations – Federal Employees, Military Members, Corporate, Credit Union, University
No carrier can be the “Best Car Insurance Company” without providing excellent customer service. The average driver has little contact with their company, agent or representative unless he/she needs to file a claim. The top companies offer fast, hassle-free claims servicing and payments. They also mediate and resolve claims with third parties on your behalf.
Get The Best Auto Insurance
Pricing is always a component of value, but it should not be the only factor considered when choosing a policy. Getting the right amount of protection from a reputable, top-ranked company that offers excellent customer service is just as important as getting the lowest rates. After all, you get what you pay for and car insurance is no different than any other product or service.
Consumers can compare premiums by requesting instant, free car insurance quotes online. Just enter your zip code and choose from the list of companies. It is quick, easy and helps drivers find the best and cheapest rates and coverage.